BANGOR, Maine — The drought is over.
The Bangor High School football team snapped its 18-game losing streak in impressive fashion on Friday night, controlling both lines of scrimmage and getting bruising tackle-breaking runs from senior Gabe Higgins and sophomore James Neel en route to a 14-0 victory over Windham at Cameron Stadium.
Neel scored on a 2-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a 1-yard in the second period as first-year head coach David Morris’ Rams avenged a 48-6 pasting from a year ago.
Neel gained 108 yards on 23 carries and Higgins rushed for 106 on 19 tries behind a hardworking offensive line that included Bailey Peterson, Zeb Wilson, Ezra Hamer-Nagle, Ben Henaire, Brady Breton and Dennis Stewart along with Connor Page.
Neel and Higgins kept churning out extra yards by keeping their legs moving and dragging tacklers down the field.
Meanwhile, the Rams defense didn’t allow the Eagles to get past the Bangor 38-yard line.
The Rams limited Windham to 112 total yards, including only 22 via the run.
Bangor completely dominated the first half en route to building its 14-0 lead.
The Ram defense, led by linebackers Higgins and Lucas Burt, limited the Eagles to 23 total yards and one first down.
Meanwhile, the Bangor offense racked up 149 yards, including 115 on the ground.
Bangor strung together a 17-play, 68-yard drive that consumed the final 8:37 of the first quarter.
Neel capped the drive with a 2-yard run on fourth-and-goal.
Higgins scampered 14 yards early in the drive and the crucial play was a nifty, 11-yard dash around left end by Lyon which turned a third-and-12 into a fourth-and-1. Higgins then picked up the first down with an 8-yard run.
Neel broke a bunch of tackles to gain a first down with a 9-yard run on a third-and-6 at the Windham 19 and, four plays later, Neel busted into the end zone.
Bangor’s second TD drive began with 4:24 left in the half at its 27-yard line.
Neel gained five yards on a third-and-4 and then picked up seven more to move the ball to the Bangor 45.
Quarterback Zachary Milliken lofted a perfect pass down the right sideline to Tristan Stewart, who caught the ball in stride before being knocked out of bounds after a 22-yard gain.
Higgins ran for six yards and then caught an 8-yard pass from Milliken to set the Rams up at the 9.
Neel busted off right tackle down to the 1 and, after a pass interference call on Windham, Neel plunged into the end zone with 25.3 seconds left in the half.
Bangor put together a 50-yard drive to open the second half but couldn’t convert as Windham’s Maxwell Marshall snuffed out a fourth-and-1 play at the 3-yard line, throwing Neel for a 2-yard loss.
The Eagles came out throwing in the second half but Bangor limited first-year starter Harrison Boyle to four completions on 12 attempts.
Boyle did toss a 44-yard pass to Garrett Peeples in the fourth quarter to move the ball to the Bangor 43-yard line. But a dropped pass on fourth-and-5 at the B-38 ended the drive.
Windham moved the ball to the B-45 with five minutes left in the game but Eli Bradford picked off a pass to seal the win.
Windham also hurt itself with penalties, including a “block in the back” infraction that erased a 41-yard punt return by Stuart Salom.
Boyle, a sophomore, completed seven of 15 passes for 90 yards. Peeples had four catches for 63 yarnds.